New Delhi, Oct 16 (PTI) Due to unprecedented challenges faced by the world on account of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said at an event held on Friday to observe 'World Food Day'.
The key focus of this year is the elimination of trans-fat from the food supply chain.
Presiding over the event organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Vardhan reminded everyone of the government's effort to make India free of trans-fat by 2022, a year ahead of WHO's target.
Present in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as vanaspati, shortening and margarine, trans-fat is a major contributor to the rise in non-communicable diseases in India, the health ministry said in a statement.
'Trans-fat is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Eliminating CVD risk factor is especially relevant during COVID-19 as people with CVD are predisposed to have serious conditions having an impact on mortality,' Vardhan was quoted as saying in the statement.
Due to the unprecedented challenges faced by the world on account of the pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability, he said.
'FSSAI's Eat Right India movement targets to promote safe and healthy food for everyone in an environmentally sustainable way. It is a part of its mandate to provide safe and wholesome food for all citizens. This will improve the food safety ecosystems and lift the hygiene and health of our citizens,' Vardhan stressed.
Reiterating the game-changing potential of 'Eat Right India' and 'Fit India Movement', Vardhan said, 'These two movements along with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission and other efforts of the Environment Ministry will improve the health of Indians and heal the environment.' Expressing his amazement at the marvels of the Internet where curious citizens can look up things on the whole gamut of information available, he asked officials of FSSAI to promote awareness and consumer education leveraging technology so that informed citizens can make responsible choices.
The health minister launched the 'Eat Right Creativity Challenge' for schools which is a poster and photography competition and aims to promote healthy dietary habits. He also launched the 'Eat Smart City' challenge by FSSAI in partnership with Smart City Mission and The Food Foundation, UK to create an environment of right food practices and habits in India's smart cities and can set an example for others to follow, the statement stated.
Vardhan also launched the 'Food Safety and Hygiene Guidelines for Safe Reopening of School Canteen/Mess' -- a document that highlights the best practices to be followed in the 'New normal of COVID-19' by all the stakeholders. It also includes tips on personal and environmental hygiene and common myths with their clarifications. The 'Do you Eat Right?' book will help in translating the technical concepts on food and nutrition and Eat Right initiatives into simple conventional style for the general public, the statement said. PTI PLB NSD NSD